Friday, June 27, 2008

TS-SIS Rare Book Cataloging Roundtable

The TS-SIS Rare Book Cataloging Roundtable will meet in Portland on Tuesday, July 15 from 12:00 to 1:30. Everyone who catalogs rare materials and/or special collections—even occasionally—or who is interested in hearing about rare book cataloging is welcome and encouraged to attend! Please feel free to bring a lunch to this noontime meeting.

The agenda so far is as follows:

I. The formation of the Rare Materials Descriptive Cataloging Task Group.

The Task Group will assist the Bibliographic Standards Committee (BSC) of ALA’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Section in the compilation of two handbooks of cataloging examples to accompany Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Books) (2007) and Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Serials) (forthcoming). These compilations of examples are still in the planning stages but will likely be similar in format to Examples to Accompany Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Books (1999). Specific tasks of the Task Group will be determined in consultation with the BSC and will likely include:

* Identifying special characteristics, other than subject matter, that are common among rare legal books and serials and perhaps less common among rare materials in general;
* Finding examples of specific books and serials with these special legal characteristics to illustrate descriptive cataloging rules in DCRM(B) and DCRM(S);
* Cataloging these examples according to DCRM(B) or DCRM(S) rules;
* Providing facsimile copies of relevant pages from these books and serials (usually the title page and sometimes additional sources of information) to the BSC; and
* Providing copies of the catalog records to the BSC.

The Task Group will make a first round of submissions to BSC in December 2008 for discussion at ALA’s midwinter meeting and a second round of submissions in June 2009 for discussion at ALA’s annual meeting.

If you would like more information about the Rare Materials Descriptive Cataloging Task Group, especially if you will be unable to attend the Roundtable, please contact Sarah Yates at

II. Discussion of the state of rare and special collections cataloging operations in law libraries.

Who is doing rare book cataloging? How much of catalogers’ time is spent on rare and special collections? What other responsibilities do rare book catalogers have? Who has the ultimate responsibility for rare book cataloging?

III. Other agenda items.

Have you been working on an interesting project that you’d be willing to share with the group? Do you have questions for the group? Contact Sarah Yates at to be added to the agenda.

IV. Open discussion.

Time permitting, we’ll open up the floor for whatever topics attendees would like to discuss.

Thanks, and I hope to see many of you in Portland!

Sarah Yates

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